A Southern Gentleman featuring Alex Crawford

August 18th, 2011

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2. Backyard BBQ-ing

Alex on how to look taller:

“Being 5′ 6″ often comes into play when choosing what I wear.  As an art student I find that dressing for your height is just like creating a well composed photograph or painting. It’s your responsibility to control the path of your viewer’s eyes when they view your artwork, or in this case, your outfit.  When you’re short, as I am, you want to emphasize simplicity and vertical lines – allowing your viewer’s eyes to go straight up and down when they look at you. The more their eyes stop, or go left-to-right, the shorter you will seem.”

Bonus Tip: If you’re a smaller guy, don’t be afraid to shop in the children’s department. It’s cheaper, and probably a better fit.

Bonus Tip II: Suspender buttons on the outside of the waistband make for a more casual and rugged look (it’s also more comfortable than having them on the inside).

Bonus Tip III: A handkerchief in the back pocket is not only a cool detail, it’s also a functioning sweat-wipe. Perfect for overlooking the burgers on the grill.

  • White cotton shirt by Target
  • White striped braces by Levis
  • White bucks by Cole Haan
  • Jeans by Gap
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  • Bogdan

    Hey guys, wondering where did you get a bowtie like this one…can you give me a website or something?

  • Gerofono Noseital

    The look depicted above may Easily be improved upon. just press the shit and tie the bowtie properly…

    • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

      Who hurt you? Tell us so we can find that mean ol’ man.

  • Arron

    Hey Alex I know this an old post but I had a few questions about this post for u. I have the American rag suit and have to have it tailored. I was wondering if the material stayed well after being re sewn and also I saw the braces u put on the jeans. How far should I put them or in what spot? If u could get back to me at arrondean@gmail.com I greatly appreciate it. I know youre a busy guy so no rush. Great post since I’m short I do shipping at targets in the youth sections too. Get great deals ha.

  • Jeff

    Great post! I like how simple, yet balanced and versatile Alex’s style is. He’s also a great example of a grad student who dresses well on a budget (Pratt in the house! I did their pre-college program in 2004).

    Keep up the great work!


  • Vidal

    I absolutely love the braces! Any suggestion as to where i can snag them? I just ordered two pairs of jeans (one black and one white) with braces buttons, but I think they will be inside. I will have to remember the tip about having them outside in the future!

    • Alex

      I’ve bought all of my braces off of Ebay or from vintage stores in Brooklyn and Austin. It’s hard to find anyone making new “casual”braces like these Levi’s.

      • Vidal

        Thanks Alex. I’ve been trolling Ebay for braces as well. I’ve recently picked up a nice pair of black braided leather ones, but need to grab some more in this vein. I’ll definitely continue looking, and hopefully we won’t be bidding against one another!

  • Mountain Dandy

    A TRUE gentleman.Excellent. Not many more left.

  • Owen

    Great post sir, question how long ago did you buy those Braces from target?

    • Alex

      The braces are actually old Levi’s braces from a vintage shop in Austin, TX called Cream. The shirt is from Target. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Jason

    Great post! I appreciate that Alex is able to put together his looks without breaking the bank–something that is getting harder to come by in the menswear blogosphere. Great proportions too–I was shocked when I read that he is 5’7″.

  • Robin

    This is awesome! Alex knows what he is doing. Simple, classic, timeless. Every man has got to read this article.

  • Nathan

    I hope Alex can be featured in future posts. I’m only 5’7”, so it’s great to get some “insider details” on how to pull of a more full-bodied look. When I go shopping I get frustrated with how long pant legs and sleeves are, along with the lack of wearability coming straight from the store. Still being a college student, it’s almost impossible to afford alterations on every piece of clothing I buy. Having Alex as a reference boosts my confidence as a shorter man and really shows me some flattering styles that I can emulate. Thanks for the great posts, as always.

  • John Foster, III

    Excellent editorial coverage on Southern style, specifically the observations concerning adding an article of sentimental value…authentic southern style at its best. As always your editorials keep the “main thing, the main thing”…style is individual and authentic. Way cool!

  • Plain T-Shirt

    Great post, very thought out sense of style.

  • Step

    You rocked the last outfit.

  • J

    I’ve considered the short cuff as well but feel like it’s somewhat of an affectation.

    The problem with those J Crew shorts (Stanton 9″ inseam?) is that – when worn standing up – they’re about 1.5 inches too long. Anyone else agree?

  • Marco

    I think being close to the same height as Alex, I know the pain of shopping for a vertically challenged frame, but I would rarely (if ever) recommend shopping in the children’s department. There are places for men of our stature to shop, you just have to look for them. I know some kids clothes are styled to look very similar to the adult versions, but the fact is they’re still made for children!

    If something doesn’t fit you, simply look elsewhere. Just because most of the things in the ‘regular’ men’s department won’t fit perfectly, this doesn’t mean you can’t turn them into something that will! Your body isn’t the issue, it never is. The garment will fit if you know what to do to make it fit.

    Otherwise, a fantastic look at a southern gentleman’s style. Thanks SB!

  • Ben


    As a short 5′ 7″ guy, also a Photographer, I really appreciate your look and also the honesty you have displayed.

    It’s humbling to know you’re open to the idea of shopping in the kids department, something which I’ve never been brave enough to try. You’ve inspired me to give it a shot.

    It’s nice to see, love your work and also TSB’s continued brilliant tips and advice.

    Thanks from Australia,


  • sincere

    i can see a lot of your influence there SB…yeah SB. I do see some SBism…that’s right haters, write that down SBism. You best recognize style and fashion and class and come get you some SBism.

  • Joey Dee

    Another great post! I love the red gingham, straps and old beatup vans! I have a pair of check vans that are so holey, but i refuse to throw them away, because they are so comfortable.

  • cam

    alex has nailed it here. this is how men should dress. easy, unaffected style that is classic and timeless. we need more of this which is something i used to see a lot of. keep it up

  • MiamiStyle

    Wow, I have that same suit I also purchased at Macy’s paid less than $125 including alterations.

    • Arron

      Ha thats funny I have the suit also. They had a black one but it was all sold out in small. Paid 110 for it. Another great suit for cheap i purchased from forever 21 and I saw a few pretty nice 2 piece suits at hm. Cool to see some cheaper stuff out there that doesn’t break the bank too much.

      • MiamiStyle

        I also found the black one!! Got them both..

  • Francis Baker

    I really that second look with the suspenders!


  • Ken

    Another great post SB. I stand at 5’6″, as well, so most of the tips shared are same principles I apply in my wardrobe. Given that it’s been BALLS HOT/HUMID this summer in the
    South, the simple/easy layers are really all we can wear and Alex pulls off them well.